Arbor Day is an opportunity for all Americans to acknowledge the important role that our Nation’s forests and woodlands play in supporting our economy, health, and environment.  Today, we celebrate the remarkable contributions that America’s wide variety of trees make to our way of life.

Let us also use this day to reflect on the sacrifices that Americans have made during these difficult times, and to look forward to the days—in the near future—when we will once again spend time outdoors with our friends and families.  In this spirit, the First Lady and I planted a maple tree on the South Lawn of the White House.  As our Nation grows stronger and greater in the months and years to come, this tree will grow also—and it will stand tall and beautiful for future generations to admire and appreciate.

The abundant forests of the United States have always been a magnificent feature of our Nation’s terrain.  Our bountiful forestlands pay tribute to the flourishing and stalwart spirit of our country, and the changing colors in many of them provide a brilliant backdrop that marks the seasons year after year.  Throughout our history, Americans have worked to ensure that we continue to preserve these forests and our unique heritage, fulfilling our responsibility to leave a better America for future generations to enjoy.

It has been a priority of my Administration to promote healthy and resilient forests.  I was proud to announce earlier this year that the United States will be joining the One Trillion Trees Initiative, a global effort to restore, grow, and better manage one trillion trees around the world by 2030.  Our efforts will lead to cleaner air and water, create wildlife habitat, and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world.

On this Arbor Day, let us take to heart the words of President Theodore Roosevelt: “When you help to preserve our forests or to plant new ones you are acting the part of good citizens.”

Happy Arbor Day!